Gabrielle Winther had taken mat classes before, but when she attended a Favored Life Open House earlier this year, her eyes locked onto the springboards attached to the walls of the group fitness studio, and she was immediately intrigued. 

"I had never heard of springboards," she advised. The 20" wide x 72" high wooden boards have 22 spring attachment points for varying levels of resistance. Handles attach to develop arm and upper body muscles, foot straps are used to develop leg and lower body muscles, a stationary bar provides support when needed and a push-through bar allows instructors to incorporate trapeze movements into the workouts. 

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After her first session, Gabrielle looked at me with wide eyes. "What do you think," I asked. "Ohhh," she exhaled. "It hurts so goooood!" And then we both had a good laugh. 

Gabrielle is the mother of a toddler. She used to work out at home and at the gym but, after having a baby, she couldn't work out on anyone else's schedule. A native of Lambertville, Gabrielle makes the trek to High Bridge from Ringoes. She says she has a far drive, but with an 8 a.m. session on a Saturday, she is home early enough that it works - and she gets two hours to herself!

"I want to be fit, be healthy and have time for myself, and I get all of that at this studio. The springboard class is always so interesting, and I like that I can really focus on my form. The classes are not intimidating; the studio and the instructors are so welcoming. I know that the studio is open to anyone, but I really appreciate the studio's philosophy, supporting moms. That is so important."

Springboard classes are currently available Wednesdays at 6 p.m. and most Saturdays at 8 a.m. The fall schedule may change, so be sure to watch Favored Life's website, Facebook and Instagram accounts for updates.